Lehigh’s Global Union finished its 14th annual International Week with more attendance and collaboration than before.
International Week was held from Nov. 4 to 12 and featured 48 different cultural events throughout the week.
From Sri Lanka Culture Night to Fusion dance festival, International Week gave Lehigh students the opportunity to learn about and experience the variety of cultures on campus.
“International Week is Lehigh’s largest way of celebrating diversity,” said Matthew Cossel, ’17, the president of the Global Union.
Global Union organized the kickoff, the flag parade and the Global Problem Solving Competition. Different culture clubs were given the freedom to organize their own events, like Fusion, held by the Black Student Union and Asian Culture Society. Dance groups from different cultural clubs performed in Zoellner, where students packed the room.
“We in no way could’ve anticipated how many people were going to show up,” said Danielle Hanes, the vice president of the Global Union.
Divided Nations was one of the events planned to discuss the conflict between China and Taiwan, but it ultimately ended in a discourse on the United States and its issues with inclusion.
“It shows how we can be diverse and inclusive on campus of other cultures, but I think some of the discussions that we had during International Week, people can take that international experience and use it to analyze ourselves,” Cossel said.
Maryam Khan, ’19, secretary of the Global Union club, believes these events bring students together in a unique way.
“The world’s not as divided as we see it to be or how the media puts it. We all have the same qualities within us,” Khan said. “We want to be kind. We want to take care of each other. So I think a lot of it is that we’re all human and we have a lot more similarities than we think we have.”
Khan said International Week allowed her to experience a culture so different from her own, like Asian culture night, where she was exposed to a culture she didn’t know much about.
“We had more collaboration and more attendance than ever before,” Hanes said.
As a graduate student and former Lehigh undergraduate, Hanes said she has watched, experienced and helped execute five successful International Weeks during her time here. She has seen so much growth throughout her five years working on International Week and said there is a lot of potential moving forward. The Global Union was able to make use of Hanes’ expertise as a veteran to execute a successful International Week.
“We’re celebrating what makes Lehigh great and having fun at the same time,” Cossel said.
Next spring, the Global Union will be celebrating its 20th anniversary and plans to host events similar to those seen during International Week.